CBFC strikes again: Vidya Balan’s ‘Begum Jaan’ suffers 12 cuts

Vidya Balan-starrer ‘Begum Jaan’ has become the recent target of Censor Board. The movie that depicts the partition period of India and Pakistan, revolves around the story of a Madame who runs a brothel. Touching quite a sensitive topic, ‘Begum Jaan’ is about how this brothel owner and Ber gang of girls stand up against government from breaking their ‘home’, which is at the border of India and Pakistan.

The powerful concept was enough for the CBFC to take action and the board has now ordered 12 cuts in the film. As a brothel owner, Vidya will be seen using some harsh and abusive language. CBFC felt the need to tone it down and hence, the decision of 12 cuts.

Not just the abuses, a lovemaking scene has also been removed. The scene has apparently been cut into half, and a source was quoted saying, “The CBFC found the pounding and thrusting which Srijit Mukherjee accentuated to show how sex is used to subjugate women, to be excessive even for an adult audience.”

Another scene about communal violence has also faced the CBFC scissors. “In a sequence showing communal violence in a bus, the massacre has also been reduced by 50 per cent. Srijit argued that an adult viewership can decide for itself whether the sexual and political violence is excessive. However the CBFC made it very clear that the two key sequences have to be reduced, or the film won’t be certified,” added the source.

A source from CBFC said, “To remain in character as a prostitute, the actor doesn’t have to keep using abusive language. Sharmila Tagore played a prostitute in ‘Mausam’. She used just one profanity in the film. And Shabana Azmi played the madame of a brothel in Shyam Benegal’s ‘Mandi’. How many times did she use the ‘ch*d’ word-variations to punctuate her coarseness?”

We wonder if the crux of the film remains the same after so many cuts.